In the future, we are looking to be smarter, safer, and greener. As we are becoming more innovative in our daily lives, we want to be as productive in everything we do, down to our beauty.
Taking Care of Your Hair Tools
Did you know that your flat iron has an expiration date? I found this out as my seven-year-old (ehh…maybe older) straightener was sitting comfortably under my bathroom sink. I know that we need to take time to clean our hair tools and products, but I’ve learned that there comes a time where we will have to toss them out after some years for safety precautions.
Have you thought about how you can recycle your products either? We don’t realize how many things we throw away that we can save. The state of your hair depends on the condition of whatever you’re using to style it, so it’s not worth it to keep something doing more harm than good.
I want to share what I’ve learned about maintaining our tools and how we can best go about styling our hair in the future.
Why Should I Care?
As it depends on the individual and how often you use different hair tools and products, you should know when and how to care for your items correctly. Keeping your items cleaned and stored properly will lessen the chances of any harm to yourself or your hair. The flat iron, for example, should simply be wiped down weekly to ensure it is clean and smooth for better results on your hair.
Misusing or overusing any hair tools, like your hot tools, combs, brushes, or even accessories, can lead them to become harmful to our hair. We are most mindful of the heat damage when it comes to our hot tools; however, we should consider product damage, as well as our safety.
Some of us do not realize the importance of maintaining hair tools, but, in the future, we should all be able to keep up with our items and ensure they are doing more good than bad. Burns and cuts are not fun and occur mostly when we fail to use our tools how they were intended or to care for them. We continuously gain information about new problems, however not as many unique solutions.
When I thought about the need to throw away items for our good, I wanted to find out better ways to achieve the styles I want without spending so much money on products and piling up trash.
We need more sustainable and cost-saving tools that will substantially help us all. You should care because this way, we can better serve ourselves and cut out half the damage. A win-win!
Finding the Right Hair Tools
In due time, there should be an ultimate shape-shifting tool that is air-powered and can give you any hairstyle at the press of a button with zero impairments! Until then, we will have to settle for the plethora of products and tools we use to tend to our beauty on the daily.
Nothing wrong with having a lot of things, but the key is to invest in cost-effective items that last and can either be reused or recycled.
Depending on who you are and what you need, I’ve divided up the most generic tools we all need to ensure we are finding better ways to style our looks.
Combs and Hairbrushes
The only way to decide what is best for your hair is to be aware of your hair type and to understand exactly how your hair behaves. Choosing the right comb or brush to style your hair makes all the difference when you are using the correct tools for what you desire.
Detangling hair takes patience and gentleness, as your goal should be to minimize tangles and knots without pulling too much hair out. Knowing the strength and texture of your hair can help determine what type of comb or brush you need to detangle and style.
Fine and thick hair are to be treated similarly based on the fact that they both require extreme care to keep from weakening the hair. Choose wide-tooth combs over detangling brushes because they experience less breakage overall.
Both work well with wet hair, but if you prefer not to wet it at all, you can use a preferred serum or oil to help soften the hair before combing or brushing.
Although detangling brushes are made to help get rid of tangles, you have more control with a wide comb that keeps from shedding. How much your hair can withstand will determine the best tool for detangling.
When it comes to choosing the perfect comb, the composition of it and the details of your hair’s actions go hand-in-hand. While plastic combs are the cheapest and most common, using them frequently can lead to breakage.
Whether it is from combing too much or incorrectly, static electricity (which is caused by friction and dryness), or any seams or chipping, the benefits of plastic do not outweigh the disadvantages. If you do not know or cannot recycle your comb, think of ways you can reuse in your house (i.e., pet comb or DIY ideas) or directly donate.
In the future we want to minimize anything keeping from healthy, strong hair and earth, so finding a comb that is good for you as well as the environment can come in many ways.
Metal combs are better than plastic combs because of longevity. The durability of the metals allows them to outlast all comb types.
They are sturdy and are less likely to get caught up in any tangles. Because of the sturdiness of metals, these combs are better for thicker, stronger hair. They are more costly than plastic combs, but still very affordable.
Both metal and plastic combs require maintenance after each use. If after combing your hair there are hair strands left within the teeth of the comb, try to get most (if not all) hairs out to keep the comb free and lessen your chances of product buildup for future uses.
Wooden combs are becoming more popular now because people are recognizing all the incredible advantages of using a wooden comb over any other type:
Unlike plastic or metal combs, wooden combs made of real wood allow for the equal distribution of oils and products to the hair while combing. The smoothness of the wood allows for easy pass-through while combing, allowing for less hair loss.
Do you ever feel like you might have combed or styled your hair so hard or tight that your scalp hurts? Yep, this will never happen with wooden combs as the teeth are rounder and softer.
If you’re looking for more ways to encourage hair growth, a wooden comb can help since the usage increases oil distribution and blood flow. Tending to your glands and hair follicles will generate thicker, longer hair.
Luckily, wooden combs are durable and long-lasting. With proper care, you can avoid the wears and tears that plastic comb types experience within months.
Great for all hair types!
The benefits of wooden combs sound amazing; however, they’re the most expensive, and there are many tips and precautions to consider while using them. To clean, use the wet-and-wipe method.
Instead of wetting with water or cleaner though, use linseed oil or Vaseline to coat the comb. After waiting half an hour or so, you can use a damp cloth to wipe off the residue for a clean finish.
Do not use water to clean your comb. Too much water or heat exposure can cause damages to your comb. The care is simple, and the results are superior and sustainable.
Of all types of combs, your best bet is a wooden comb. However if you’d like to save your money from keeping up with hair and tools care, then opt for a metal one. Maybe you rarely use combs anyway, so it won’t hurt to purchase the cheap, plastic one.
Your preference and hair type should guide you to your best option.
Finger detangling is known as the safest and most careful way to get through knots for thick, natural hair. It is time-consuming for sure, but the benefits are even better than those from detangling with tools.
With concentration, we can undo tangles and free our hair with full control over minimal shedding. With your fingers going through each coil and kink, you can realize that through the process, you know more about your hair’s behavior everywhere around your head.
Hair brushes, like hair combs, are used to remove any stubborn knots or tangles. Unlike combs through, brushes are more accessible to get through tough times. It’s much easier to brush out an old wig or weave than it is to try and detangle with a comb.
A tip for styling can be to detangle first with a comb and then style accordingly with a brush. Brushes are best for styling anyway because then you have more control over your hair to achieve your desired style. Although they get the job done, using a brush to untangle hair can go left if you brush too often or too hard.
The strength of a brush on your hair compared to a comb can pull out strands and remove cuticles, so when using you must be very careful to avoid this. Your hair goal and type will reveal the nature of bristles that you will need for fixing your hair.
For most brush types, you can choose from natural, synthetic, or combination brushes.
- Made of Boar bristles, they help evenly distribute your hair’s natural oils from root to tip.
- Natural bristles are more gentle on your strands than synthetic ones. They are best for styling easily manageable hair.
- Compared to other brush types, these are among the ones that last longer.
- Made from either nylon or plastic.
- Easier detangle than from a natural brush.
- Best for when you’re using a blow dryer, as it is quick drying and stretches out the hair more.
- Preferred use by those with thick hair
- As a mixture of both natural and synthetic bristles, you get both benefits of each type in one brush
- Cost saving since you’ve got two in one
- Great for all hair types
If you are looking to detangle, a comb could be your best bet; however, if a brush is what you desire to use, then finding the correct type has to have careful consideration. Do not just choose a 2-in-1 if your goal is to detangle. Be smart about your tool choices.
It’s always great to save however you can, but the reality is that buying the wrong brush can cause damage to your hair over time. There are now vegan brushes that can get you the same results, yet unfortunately, they do not last as long and are more expensive. The long-term benefits of environmentally friendly hairbrushes are just as significant, so if you’re able to afford them, it can help.
Faster styling and maintenance comes with brushes, so there’s the advantage there too. To clean plastic or metal brushes, after removing all hair stands you can toss it in the dishwasher.
For wooden brushes, you can hand wash the bristles with mild soap or shampoo and rinse for an easy clean. You can avoid hair and product buildup in your brushes by cleaning monthly or so to ensure you’re not piling on dirt into your hair every time you brush.
Flat Irons and Curlers/Blow Dryer, “Hot Tools.”
Our hot tools are necessary because they give us quick hair changes. However, they have gradual, adverse effects on the earth and us. According to experts, electrical tools should stay maintained and replaced due to circuit shortages over time. The life expectancy of a flat iron is about four years.
It’s crazy because you honestly would not think to get rid of something that seems to work perfectly fine, but the reality is the damage is unseen for a long time, and that’s what makes it even worse.
You need to beware of random temperature changes and to overheat, or any cracks. The electric cords should be covered completely, with no wires exposed or messed up.
Even if you have the best straightener in the whole world, if you have to hold it a sure way to keep the plates in place, then it is time to let it go! Our hot tools must be used with caution and kept neat to ensure that we are not doing more harm than good to our hair.
As fast as our hot tools get us to desired looks, sometimes, if you have the time and ability, you can opt to get the same style minus the heat. How, may you ask? Well, how do you think our ancestors made way before the hot comb?
There are plenty of DIY ways to curl, straighten, or stretch your hair without the use of heat or electricity. Yes, it is a long process; however, the image being able to style your hair in the purest form to ensure perfect condition throughout your strands.
I don’t know about you, but after I went natural, I told myself I wouldn’t use any more heat on my hair. I would rather let my natural hair be natural and pull off any other hairstyles through extensions or wigs.
Try straightening your hair by:
- Using straightening shampoos and conditioners. A tip is to brush (gently) until dry.
- Using straightening hair masks
- Milk and honey
- Milk and egg
- Coconut milk and lemon juice
- Stretching with hair ties overnight
- Jumbo Rollers (long hair) overnight
- Wrapping hair or twisting in a bun overnight
It’s much easier to curl your hair, as there are many more options to consider to get the perfect curl pattern:
- Braid or twisting your hair can give natural waves
- Rollers or flexi-rods assist in quick, overnight styling
- Fabrics like t-shirts or socks can be altered to create tight curls and waves.
If you want to use heat, there’s nothing wrong with using it in moderation, so try to invest in products that have been better overall for the environment and your hair. There are eco-friendly hot tools that do not consume as much energy, with more efficiency, and safer contact with your hair, and when it is time to let go, it is easily recyclable.
These items minimize heat damage as it helps to keep moisture within the hair to keep from burning. Safe for all hair types, the key is to look for the items within your budget that give have more advantages over disadvantages.
Hair ties, bobby pins, clips, headbands, bows, beads, and more are among some of the most common accessories used by most of us. As they’re simple to wear and hold styles, we should make sure that when we use our accessories, which over time we are keeping up with them and cleaning them as well as our other hair tools.
Product buildup is real as well as residue from the air and surroundings. The key here is to ensure that we are not causing more problems to our hair from our hair stuff that is meant to help us. Keep accessories stored in a clean, dry place spaced apart to keep from rubbing together to mess up the designs of any accessory.
To clean, only do as you would with a hairbrush and fill the sink with water and a small amount of shampoo. You can gently rub each item to clean it off and dry with a towel.
Once dried you can store in your usual place. The better we care for our hair tools, the more they will help us.
We are no longer taking our hair for granted. The hair care routines are becoming perfected, as well as our techniques. To prevent hair loss and to promote growth, you need to be mindful of your methods and tools. Hair sheds and thins by nature, so sometimes to reduce the amount of hair loss, you can develop better habits when it comes to dealing with your hair.
Brushing and combing more often and less gently, overheating your hot tools, or wearing tight ponytails and updos are common problems we might have fallen guilty to.
If your hair is thick and full, do not think that you are exempt from taking the extra precautions to ensure strong hair. We want to focus on long-term hair health, so this applies to anyone with hair.
Continue to find what works best for you, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. We could be content with what we have, but we never know what is out there that is better for us until we try.
Our maintenance with all our items has to match with the same effort we use towards making ourselves better. In the future, we want to be more knowledgeable about the things we use, and to know if it is doing some long-term good or harm.
By opting for tools and accessories that are made to be sustainable, you can find tools made for your specific hair types or needs that help you as well as the environment.
You don’t always have to look for ways to change your routine, but you should look for ways to improve them so that you are making the most of your experience.